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Royal storm as Oxford students cancel Queen for ‘representing colonial past’

STUDENTS sparked fury last night by taking down a portrait of the Queen because it made them feel “uncomfortable”.

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The image – which “represents colonial history” – has hung for decades. But Oxford University graduates at Magdalen College said it should be taken down, along with a cardboard cutout of the monarch. They voted to remove the adornments from their common room and ruled no new depictions of the 95-year-old Head of State should ever be put up. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson slammed the move, and said: “Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd.

“She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the United Kingdom.

“During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.”

Former Oxford Union president James Price said: “This is a petulant and childish move by grown-up students who really ought to know better.

“It’s yet another sad example of lazy, woke posturing by entitled students who would rather criticise imperfect but decent and noble institutions than deal with the complexities of the real world or, better yet, focus on their studies.

“Despite obvious difficulties the Queen oversaw what was probably the most pain-free dismantling of an Empire in history. Let’s hope they aren’t history students.”

The artefacts have been removed from the Magdalen common room, whose members are graduates studying Masters or PHDs.

Queen Elizabeth

Students said the image ‘represents colonial history’ (Image: Getty )

Minutes from the MCR committee meeting held on Monday, and seen by this newspaper, said: “Members have brought forward discomfort with the MCR promoting the image of the Queen, including a portrait and a cardboard cutout.

“The Queen represents an institution responsible for much of colonialism throughout history and the modern era, and these depictions cause some students discomfort.

“As such the equalities subcommittee proposes the portrait be taken down and auctioned to fundraise for a charity working to improve the lives of those suffering the consequences of colonialism, and that no new depictions of the Queen should replace it.”

Last night, the college president told this newspaper it supported the move.

It was tabled by Matthew Katzman, president of the MCR, and agreed by a majority.

The portrait has now been removed, according to the committee’s president, and it is understood it will be put into storage.


A statue of Churchill in Parliament Square was vandalised during the BLM protests (Image: Getty )

MCR president Katzman said: “It has been taken down. It was decided to leave the common room neutral. That was what this was about.

“The college will have plenty of depictions of various things, but the common room is meant to be a space for all to feel welcome.” The portrait will be replaced by art “by or of other influential and inspirational people”.

Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, told the Express last night: “My initial reaction is the hope the administration gets tough and doesn’t pander to the minority.”

Former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney said: “These cretinous students are proof that a little education is a dangerous thing.

“They are the elite. They’re the most pampered and privileged students on the planet. Yet in their fantasy land, they believe they are part of some phoney revolution against the Crown.

“The only way to end this is for donors to defund them. The Government pays eight per cent of their upkeep – let’s start with that. This moronic national self-loathing has to stop.

“Any student who feels a portrait of the Queen makes them feel unwelcome in the UK perhaps is unwelcome in the UK.

Queen Elizabeth

The Queen and Prince Philip on a visit to Magdalen College in 2008 (Image: Getty)

“Ironically, these goons only do this because we are so welcoming and tolerant in the UK. If they tried this type of preening posturing in Russia or North Korea they’d find themselves mysteriously vanishing overnight.”

Mr Price, who became the oldest president of the Oxford Union Debating Society at 29, said: “Far from being the bright, shining future , these coddled students future seem content to follow trends from the United States rather than confront the fact 21st century Britain is a wonderful, hopeful place where opportunity, acceptance and joy are more available to more people than anywhere else in the world.

“Previous generations were real anti-fascists, saving the world from the twin evils of fascism and communism, but tin-pot revolutionaries in modern universities find themselves having to invent new enemies. If they wanted to actually evil regimes confront evil, totalitarian regimes, they could look to the Chinese Communist Party.”

Human rights barrister and college president Dinah Rose said: “Magdalen College’s MCR is an organisation of graduate students who have their own common room.

“The way they choose to decorate that room is a matter for them.

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